The authority for the mission of the Gateway Commission is found in Sections 25-102a through s of the Connecticut General Statutes. Those statutory sections define the mission of the Commission (Section 25-102a CGS), define the limits of the Gateway Conservation Zone (Section 25-102c CGS), land acquisition provision when such acquisition is funded by the State of Connecticut, and provide for the processes of adoption of Gateway Standards by the Gateway Commission, adoption of the standards by each of the eight member towns. Also included are provisions for review of variance applications as well as procedures for appeal of decision of both Gateway and local land use agencies.
One of the unique powers provided to the Commission by the Connecticut General Assembly is the requirement that any revision of “zoning, subdivision and planning regulations” or change in the local zoning map proposed for land in the Conservation Zone must be approved by the Commission or it cannot become effective. Adversarial positions on issues such as these are often resolved through pre-petition discussions with Gateway staff or the Commission itself designed to sort out any controversial proposals before the petitions are submitted to the town for approval.